Grooming Report March 30th

We have not done any grooming this week as the temperatures have risen and we have had snow and rain on the mountain the first part of the week, as I was on the mountain snowmobiling Tuesday and got wet.  The grandsons thought it fun anyway.  We are done grooming for the year.  Thanks for your patience as this year was up and down temperature wise, snow wise and when we did get snow we got a big dump all at once.  Thanks to my guys this year, Allen, Doug, Kurt, Buckshot, Larry, and Jeff for keeping the trails groomed the best we could and keeping the equipment running.  Remember this Saturday night at midnight it will be April 1 and the 4X4’s will be on the trail.  Be careful.

The final figures for March and for the year are listed below.


We have groomed more than most clubs in the state due to bad conditions statewide.  At least we had snow.


425 miles groomed

62 hours spent grooming

386 gallons fuel burned

2 hours maintenance

1 tree removed

952 miles driven to/from mountain

19.5 hours driving to/from mountain

2017-2018 snow year

1529 miles groomed

242 hours spent grooming

1413 gallons fuel burned

13 hours maintenance

11 trees removed from trail

2574 miles driven to/from mountain

51 hours driving to/from mountain

Thanks for your support

Jess Thompson, TTF grooming chairman

TTF Newsletter March 2018

CLUB UPDATE by Bob Smith – TTF Board Member

Hi Snowmobile Friends

It just keeps getting better and better at Tollgate!  We’ve had fresh powder recently and more snow is on the way!  March predictions as being one of the best months for snowmobiling seems to be holding true. A couple of us went out Friday and had a great time sledding around the Chapman Bone Springs Warming Shelter and Tiger Canyon area.  Boondocking is great and with more snow it’s even better!  Be careful of tree wells…. but with 8 plus feet of snow the hazards are mostly covered.  Jess and Company have the upper trails all groomed out to Bone Spings via Jubilee Lake Rd, Elk Trail and Skyline Road.  Prior to the big Saturday snow dump the trails were in great condition.  Thank You Groomers!!!!

AVENZA MAPS APP (Free in app store and google play)

If you haven’t done it yet, download the Avenza App from the app store (google play for android users).  Once you download it you can download the Tollgate Trailfinders Map.  This app even works without cell service using gps.  We tested in out in an area that received no cell service and it pinpointed our exact location.  We were shown the nearest road and our gps coordinates (latitude and longitude).  Everyone should have this app on theirphoIt’sfreeit’s accurate and works without cell service.

Looking into next week the weather appears to have multiple days with a chance of snow. This should help keep our snow pack intact.  Get out and enjoy the snow while you have the chance.  Now that spring snow conditions are coming simply sleep in a little later and let the sun soften the snow up.

Remember that April 1st is the official end of grooming for the snowmobile trails.  Undoubtedly the 4x4s and side by sides will hit the trails for their chance for some snow wheeling.  Our trails will become multi use at this point.  Even though us hardcore snowmobilers may not agree with letting the 4x4s on our trails, please be respectful to them.  The way things look, we should have several more weeks of snowmobiling at Tollgate to enjoy!

Keep an eye out for upcoming events and work parties.  We will be removing ropes and poles from Mud Flats once the snow melts (normally May).  We will also be restocking the firewood at Chapman Bone Springs Shelter (Normally July).  We also have a plan to perform trail brush removal and trail marking.  We need all the help we can get.  We will have updates on our website as well as on our Facebook page Tollgate Trailfinders.  Make sure to LIKE us on Facebook so you get the latest updates.


Have fun, be safe and enjoy spring snowmobiling.

Tollgate Trail Finders



Vintage Snowmobile Weekend

Hey Everyone!

Having a great time at the vintage snowmobile weekend. Today is saturday and they have the line-up of the vintage classis. There are lots to look at. Come vote for your favorite machine. Ren and Victoria are the hosts of this event so lend your support. We have permission from Ren to post this on our website so I am!

Tomorrow they are having the race, so I will sneak a few pics and words for you all. Sorry about the fuzzy pics, I could not see well with sun behind me shining onto my screen. Yes the snow is melting as I was up there. There is also rumblings that Jess might groom Mcintyre for the race tomorrow so please if you can, ride elsewhere. If anyone has anything to add, please email us by using the contact form on your right.

Here is more Pics:

Grooming Report for Mid-Week March 21st

We have been out grooming the last 2 days, have done Jubilee Rd, Elk Trail, Skyline, Powerline, Owl Hoot Lane, McIntyre loop, Coyote loop, pole trail, up through Spout, to Woodland, to Andies Prairie out towards Ruckle, past 9 mile and back, Gordon Creek, Balloon Tree.  We have been leaving at 2-3 a.m. to get done by 9-10 when it warms up.  It is supposed to rain starting today through Thursday night with temperatures in the 40’s in the day and staying above freezing at night.  It looks like it might cool down by Saturday looking at the most recent forecast, with some new snow, 1-3 inches, coming.

We are reaching the end of the season with a reminder that April 1 is on a Sunday this year when the 4X4’s will be out on the trails.


Jess Thompson TTF grooming chairman

Grooming Report for March 8th


We have groomed Saturday night, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  We have been down to the Chalet to McDougal and back, Coyote (3719 rd) and back pole trail from Spout, to Morning Creek Snow Park to the shed, store and back.  We have been out Jubilee Rd out Elk Trail, Gordon Trail to Skyline and back to Baldy, Powerline trail, to Target Meadows and around McIntyre Loop to the store.  We went up through Spout to Andies Prairie to 31 rd and back Gordon Creek trail and Balloon Tree loop trail.  The weather warmed up on us Wednesday afternoon and we have not done any more since.  It is supposed to get cold at night starting tonight, so we hope to groom to Bone Springs and back yet this week-end.  Spring weather is coming as this week-end through the middle of next week will be warm temperatures in the 40’s during the day, but cold at night.  We will be grooming in the early morning hours at the coldest time of the day if possible.  Watch for water holes as spring time weather is here.

Logging has resumed on the Shumway loop trail, so we will not be grooming in there. Cecil informed me today that the gates are shut and locked on that part of the trail.   To my knowledge logging continues on the Lugar Loop trail.


Jess Thompson TTF grooming chairman

The Groomer Guys Get a Kudos!

This email was sent by Crystal Lambert who owns a cabin down by the Chalet. Here is her letter to the groomers:

From Crystal Lambert:

“Just wanted to give a huge shout out to the groomers.  There is nothing better than hitting the trail home after a day of riding and having it nice and smooth.  Thank you for all your hard work!!”

Please pass this on to your team.  Coincidentally, when my group came back to our cabins after a day of riding out past Bone Springs, I noticed how well the lower trail had held up to the traffic from being groomed very early Sunday morning.  This made our day a little bit better.

Bob Smith recently made the statement “Make The Tollgate Trailfinders Great Again.”  While this may be stolen from President Trump’s campaign, it is worth thinking about and acting on doing things just a little bit better.  There’s been some good work that’s happened over the past couple years and we have to keep that momentum going.  I’m excited about the momentum we have playing in our favor.  The weather is finally cooperating, the Tollgate Store is back open with a friendly staff and great food, we have recently elected an executive team and board members that will be active in making the TTF great again!  Now, it’s up to us to make things even better.  It starts with positive communication and open minds.

Thanks for what your team is doing and have a wonderful week!



A Cautionary Tale

HI Snowmobile Friends,

Heading into the week of March 5th it’s looking like spring snowmobiling conditions may have arrived.  With our new club website it’s easy to check out the TTF Club webcam then scroll down to NOAA weather which is a web link to the National Weather Service. This weeks predictions call for lows to be in the low to mid 20’s with highs gradually warming to 40 degrees by Sunday. With the overnight temps remaining well below freezing it should keep the snow pack in good shape. There also appears to be light amounts of snow fall Wednesday night through Saturday and this should help to refresh the snow surface. This is the time of year when boondocking is at its best. Wait until the sun comes out to soften the upper snow surface and take to the trees. Tollgate is a paradise for off trail riding with moderate to challenging terrain. Many of the areas that would be difficult to ride earlier in the season because of the deep soft powder are great now. We have snow depths over 8 feet in the upper elevations and the shaded tree areas tend to prevent the snow from melting and becoming icy. This may be where the phrase “go anywhere” snow applies. Our fellow friend and TTF Board Member Glenn Warren took a snapshot of the snow gauge on the Bluewood side of the mountain.

That is a beautiful site!!! Winter isn’t over yet. At Saturday’s club meeting Jess Thompson reported the grooming department had groomed close to 800 miles of trails for the month of February and most of that would have been after the weekend of Feb.14th. Thanks guys!!!

March 1st  Wallow Avalanche Centers Advisory.


Heavy snow, possibly over 2 feet and moderate to strong winds out of the south over the next 24 hours is forecast for the mountains of northeast Oregon. Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are likely, careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route finding and conservative decision making essential. Wind slabs forming on north, northwest, northeast, and east aspects at and above tree line on ridge tops. Areas receiving over a foot of new snow may experience storm slabs on terrain over 30 degrees, especially within the first 24 hours of the storm.

Even though the Tollgate area didn’t receive this snow fall, if you travel around the Elkhorns and Halfway areas you might want to consider the advisory.

Have a great week everyone! Be safe and have fun!!

Tollgate Trail Finders

Hi Snowmobile Friends!

We are enjoying the best snowmobiling of the season and it just keeps getting better. With the cold temps the snow is light and fluffy. Powder over the hood in most places. The recent storms produced around 2’ of new snow over the weekend and with winds the snow field erased the tracks from the previous day. Several of our snow buds played all weekend and it was amazing!  There is great riding for everyone on the mountain right now. From untracked meadows and boon docking to hill climbing the snow is perfect!  So get out and enjoy!! According to NOAA weather the temps should remain below freezing so it should be a great week. Be safe and have fun. Be sure to check in with Wallowa Avalanche Center “And” wear your Avalanche beacons.  

Our thoughts and Prayers are with the families and friends of those caught in the Avalanche near Easton Wa.

Heres a few things to put on your calendar.

March 3rd at 9am – Advanced GPS Ride – Backcountry and GPS Skills focus for this ride. Led by Brandon Christensen. Note: for advanced riders only

March 3rd at 9:30 am – Family Ride to Ruckel Junction – led by Cecil Berry

March 3rd at 5pm – TTF Club meeting and Elections. 

March 3rd at 6pm – Annual Steakout. After the club meeting we will be BBQing your favorite steak or whatever you would like to put on the grill. It will be potluck style…Please bring a salad or dessert and the Club will furnish baked potatoes, bread rolls and all the toppings for the spuds. 

Grooming Report March 2nd

We groomed out to Bone Springs on Jubilee Rd, Skyline Road, Elk Trail, down to Timothy Guard Station, Timothy Short Cut to 6413 rd back to 11A, from 64 road down to Lugar intersection and back, from 204 to Baldy and back 3 times this week, been to the store and back 3 times, McIntyre Loop, into Target Meadows and back,  Coyote Loop, down to McDougal crossing past the Chalet and back, up through Spout Springs, Woodland, Andies, to 31 rd and back twice, to Ruckel and back, in and out of all snow parks twice Morning Creek 3 times. We are concerned about going around Baldy view point as it has drifted heavily and has a large cornice hanging over the east side, so we will discontinue grooming around that point and just use the back side. Everything is in really good shape with 6-10 inches of new snow on the trails and cold temperatures.  It should be a great week-end.  We did have one minor breakdown on the 08, a sprocket drive stud bolt broke off but we got it repaired Wednesday.  We have a part on order for the 98 but the hay wire is still working.


Jess Thompson TTF  grooming chairman